ECW Hardcore Heaven ’95 (July 1, 1995)

ECW Hardcore Heaven '95

This is a show I’d heard a lot about back in the day when I was into real sleazy garbage wrestling and shit like that because of the Taipei Deathmatch but I’d never actually seen it until I got the WWE Network and watched it, which automatically makes it 90% less sleazy than it would have been if I’d traded a 3rd generation tape of the Big Japan Supermarket Deathmatch for a dubbed copy of this, but whatever. Let’s get extreme!

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Taz vs. Buh Buh Ray Dudley (ECW Hardcore TV April 2, 1996)

Here we’ve got “The Human Suplex Machine” Taz taking on Buh Buh Ray Dudley in a more or less straight up wrestling match. Don’t worry, this is still ECW though so there’s some post-match mayhem with crutches and steel chairs for those of you who don’t want to see Buh Buh Ray Dudley apply hammerlocks and shit like that.

WWF Raw (March 25, 2002)

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This seemingly random episode of Raw is actually a historically important one as it was the first WWE Draft and the episode that would begin the Brand Split Era. We start things off with a cold open that features Linda McMahon boringly explain the concept of the draft to those of us watching at home as well as a gaggle of WWE wrestlers watching in the locker room.

There will be twenty picks tonight overall between the two brands: Raw (with General Manager Ric Flair) and Smackdown (with General Manager Vince McMahon). The remaining superstars will be put in a draft lottery on WWF.com after Raw ends or something.

She goes on to say that since Triple H, Jericho, and Stephanie McMahon will be competing in a match for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship none of them are able to be drafted. Steve Austin is also ineligible since he apparently had something written into his contract that said, “In the event of a Brand Split leading to a Draft I, Stone Cold Steve Austin, become a free agent and that’s the bottom line cuz Stone Cold said so.” I guess he was legit having a contract dispute at the time and it was unclear if he’d resign or not and this is what they came up with.

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ECW Hardcore TV (February 7, 1995)

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We start things off with the Public Enemy making their way out to the ring for their Tag Team Title match against the challengers of Sabu and The Tazmaniac. This footage is from Double Tables, but because I’m watching it on the WWE Network instead of a VHS cassette, “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” has been replaced by some generic hip-hop beat. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind though and dutifully puts their hands in the air and waves them as if they just don’t care all the same.

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ECW One Night Stand 2006 (June 11, 2006)

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I guess this really should be called ECW Friends With Benefits or something since this is the second One Night Stand PPV. The show begins in true ECW fashion with a cold open. We see the rabid ECW fans packed to the rafters in the Hammerstein Ballroom chanting “ECW!” until the ECW theme song hits and Paul Heyman makes his way out to the ring to a huge pop.

Heyman thanks all the fans for being and says that with its rebirth ECW would appeal to a new, global audience. He hypes up the upcoming ECW show on Sci-Fi and tells the fans that it was because of them demanding it that ECW is coming back.

He thanks them again and tells them that ECW is going to be better than Raw or Smackdown. Oh Paul Heyman, how wrong you’d end up being, but that’s another story for another time…

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WWF Monday Night Raw (February 24, 1997)

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Welcome everyone to Monday Night Raw! We’re coming to you tonight live from the Manhattan Center in New York City! Vince is ecstatic to back in the building where it all started back on January 11, 1993. Jerry Lawler is with him to remind us that he called out ECW last week and apparently they’ve accepted his challenge and are here in the building, but who cares about that when we’ve got hillbillies taking on cowboys!

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